Trucking safely with your pet

Posted: May 12, 2021

 Truck driving is a unique job with a lot of freedom and other advantages, but it also lacks a lot of the personal connection you might get in a more traditional work setting with co-workers seated right next to you. Many trucking companies, including CalArk, allows drivers to fill that need for companionship on the road by bringing their pet with them.

Pets are not only great for friendship, but they can be beneficial for your health too. For instance, pet owners typically have lower cholesterol levels than non-pet owners and snuggling up with your furry friend has been proven to improve your mood and lower anxiety and depression.

While there are a lot of great reasons why you should consider traveling with your pet, it’s not as easy as putting them in your truck and hitting the road. There are steps you’ll need to take in order to keep your pet as safe and happy as possible:

Pet-proof your truck: You’ll want to block off the driver area, especially the area by your pedals, to ensure your pet doesn’t get in the way while you’re trying to drive. Keep your food, trash and medicine sealed and stored away out of reach.

Keep your pets secure while driving: You wear your seatbelt to keep safe if you have to stop suddenly. It’s no different with a pet. Dogs should be strapped in a harness safety belt or in a kennel, while cats should stay crated.

Give them a warm place to sleep: When it’s time for bed, make sure they have a comfortable place to lay down. Use towels or blankets to make them a pet bed.

Let your pet out of the truck often: Just like you need to stop to stretch your legs, your pet will need to do that too. They’ll also need that time to go potty. Always have a leash ready for these stops - it will keep them safe from other trucks that are coming in and out of parking areas and it’s just common courtesy.

Carry waste bags and cleaning supplies: Cleaning up after your pet is your responsibility. Make sure you always carry waste bags with you. You’ll also want to have pet-friendly cleaning supplies to clean up any messes inside your truck.

Don’t forget the toys: Pets need to be entertained just like you do. Boredom can not only contribute to depression, but it can also cause them to get into things they shouldn’t. Bring along their favorite toys to keep them occupied.

Have enough food and water: Keeping your pet hydrated is so important. Bring along enough water for your pet and find a spill-free way to make it accessible to them whenever they need it. Make sure you also have enough food for them for your time on the road. You never know if you’ll have access to a store that has the kind of food you need when you’re on the road, so it’s best to bring it all with you.

Don’t leave your pet behind: Leaving your pet alone in the truck when it’s too hot or cold can have serious consequences. If you’re unable to keep them warm enough in freezing temperatures or cool enough in the summer, take them out with you.

Prioritize their health care: You’ll need to make sure you have all important pet paperwork with you, such as vaccination and health records. Schedule important vet visits during your home time - regular checkups are important for the too. Consider carrying a pet first aid kit with you, which might contain bandages for cuts and scrapes, Benadryl for allergies and motion sickness and antibiotic ointment. Pets that travel can frequently experience gastrointestinal issues, so check with your veterinarian for a list of remedies you should bring along.

Cats and dogs tend to be the norm when it comes to trucking co-pilots, but they’re not the only ones out there on the road. Rabbits, ferrets, parrots, reptiles and even a pig have been spotted with their truck driver pals. Got a furry (or not so furry) friend that’s not a cat or a dog? They might be able to ride along too! Check with your carrier’s pet policy to find out or your pet can travel with you.

At CalArk, our pet policy allows for one small dog to ride along with a $300 pet deposit. This is payable in installments. If you have any questions about our pet policy or other driver benefits at CalArk, reach out to us today!


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